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THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL
81
physically
large enough to be born, so the begotten Christian must
grow
spiritually
in grace and knowledge of Christ (11 Pet. 3: 18)–
must overcome, develop in spiritual character, during this life, to
be born into the Kingdom ofGod!
That is well illustrated by the parables of the pounds and the
talents. In the parable of the pounds (Luke 19: 11-27), Jesus pic–
tured Himself as a nobleman going to a far country (heaven) to
receive a kingdom and later to return. He called his ten servants
and gave each a pound. While He was gone, one of the ten traded
with the money and gained ten pounds. He was commended and
made ruler over ten cities in the Kingdom of God.
A
second
gained only fi.ve pounds - he did half as well, starting with EQUAL
ability. He was given reign over fi.ve cities.
A
third gained NOTH–
ING - and had even that pound taken from him.
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25: 14-30), one was
given fi.ve talents, another two talents, and another one - each ac–
cording to his own ability (like handicap golf). On Christ's return,
the one who had been given fi.ve talents had gained fi.ve more
(representing spiritual growth and overcoming in this life). He
was commended as a good and faithful servant and given respon–
sibilities accordingly in God's Kingdom. The one who had gained
another two accomplished just as much in proportion to ability.
He, too, received an equal reward. But the one who had been
given the one did NOTHING WITH IT. In other words, in his Chris–
tian life here and now, he did not overcome, he did not grow spiri–
tually - he developed no character. The pounds or talents in these
two parables represent the initial measure of God's Holy Spirit
given at conversion. But as the Spirit-begotten person is contin–
ually
led
by the Holy Spirit - following where God's Spirit opens
his understanding,
growing
in spiritual knowledge and over–
coming -the measure of God's Spirit in him
increases.
But Jesus
was
filled
with the Holy Spirit - not by measure (John 3:34). The
parables show that the convert who does not GROW in Spirit and
character development will lose out! He represents one who "RE–
CEIVED CHRIST" and considered he was already "born again" but
did not think he needed to overcome, grow spiritually, or develop
spiritual character. He thought he was "already saved." He said
he didn't believe in salvation by "works." What he didn't realize